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Trips

Tryweryn Festival 2024

Tryweryn Festival (fondly known as T-fest) has to be one of my absolute favourite white water events on the calendar. Quality white water time, fun well organised events and plenty of time to catch up with old friends and make new ones! I’ve just got back from this year’s T-fest and once again am struck by what a brilliant weekend it has been! This article is a summary of the highlights of T-fest 2024!

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ShePaddles

ShePaddles white water festival at the Tryweryn 2024

Last weekend was the ShePaddles white water festival at the Tryweryn and I was lucky enough to be part of it! There were an amazing 52 women signed up as participants and they were joined by an array of talented coaches and organisers. It was a really brilliant weekend and I was thrilled to be asked to attend on behalf of Pyranha Kayaks. I had such a good time that I wanted to write a blog article in order to tell people all about it!

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ShePaddles Trips

ShePaddles at Plas y Brenin 2024 – sunshine, smiles and inquisitive seals!

I was thrilled to be invited to Plas y Brenin‘s third ShePaddles event which ran on the 10th-12th May this year. This event first ran in 2022 after the lovely Katie Simmons came up with the idea. It was hugely successful and has been a highlight on my calendar ever since. The last two years had been beautiful sunny weekends full of fun and laughter and the 2024 event proved to be just as good. As I drove over to North Wales on the Friday evening, the Welsh mountains of Snowdonia were basked in sunshine and it was still beautifully warm. I arrived at Plas y Brenin (PyB) to an enthusiastic welcome and a delicious dinner from their restaurant. It promised to be another wonderful weekend.

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General

Bren Orton – Some personal reflections on his loss

The last 10 days have been hard for the kayaking world. The news of Bren Orton going missing on Thursday 16th May whilst kayaking has left a huge hole in the heart of the kayaking community. He was one of the world’s best white water kayakers but he was also one of the most genuine and lovely men you could possibly meet. I have had too many thoughts and feelings in recent days to convey in a single post and so I’m writing this blog for two reasons. Firstly to help me process what I am feeling right now and maybe in doing so that will help others to process what they are feeling too. Secondly Bren was a really good person. I did not know Bren well but I got to see a glimpse of what a truly lovely man he was and I wanted to share that.

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Trips

Our wet and wild kayaking wedding – eloping to Scotland!

On Saturday 6th April 2024 myself and Tom got married by the river Etive in Scotland. In the middle of storm Kathleen and in the company of three of our closest friends, we became Mr and Mrs Clare. It was a crazy and wild day but it was the perfect wedding day for us. I wanted to share our wedding day with our wider friends through here so please read on and enjoy my account of our special day!

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Freestyle Trips

Dee Fest 2024!

The river Dee is an absolute UK white water kayaking classic! The Dee is a North Wales river that flows all year round thanks to the fact it has water released into it. It is so good that some brilliant local paddlers decided that they wanted to organise a festival on the Dee and so was born Dee Fest! Dee Fest this year was held on the 13-14th April and it was brilliant! So here is a little account of Dee Fest 2024.

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General

I am really happy right now and loving kayaking!

Exactly one year ago I wrote an article explaining why I had been absent from the kayaking scene. Poor health meant I couldn’t be my normal active and kayaking obsessed self for most of 2023 which impacted on both my fitness and happiness. Roll on a year later and 2024 so far has been just wonderful! I am in a much better place and whilst the people I see regularly will know this, I thought it was worth an update on here too. I’m overwhelmingly happy at the moment and I am in a good place with my kayaking because of it. So here is a little life update for you!

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General Guest posts Paddling tips

Kid-Friendly Kayaking: 6 Expert Tips for Introducing Children to Paddling

A year ago I wrote an article sharing tips to support new paddlers and help them to fall in love with white water kayaking. Following this article, I had a number of people reach out to me to ask if I had any specific tips for helping to introduce children to kayaking. As I am not a parent myself, I reached out to the wonderful Chris Eastabrook and Dan Wilkinson who have kindly shared some of their expert tips with me. Both Chris and Dan are incredibly talented paddlers, coaches and also parents. This article will share their top tips for sharing the love of paddling with children. Enjoy!

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General Guest posts

5 awesome white water rivers to paddle in Ireland!

Following a trilogy of articles I recently wrote about my favourite white water rivers to paddle in England, Wales and Scotland, I was left thinking about what the best rivers to paddle in other countries would be. I recently took an Irish friend (the lovely Alex McClure) paddling for her first ever trip to the river Tees. Whilst paddling we got chatting about rivers in Ireland and I thought it would be lovely to do a following blog article on awesome white water rivers in Ireland.

Alex kindly put me in touch with another friend of hers – Catherine Mahon. Catherine seems to be one of the most enthusiastic paddlers in Ireland and was very happy to share her favourite rivers with me. She kindly agreed to let me then share those with you all through this article.

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General

5 of my favourite white water rivers to paddle in Scotland

Welcome to the third article in my little series on my favourite UK white water rivers to paddle! In my previous articles, I discussed my favourite English and Welsh rivers and this article is going to focus on my favourite white water rivers in Scotland.

I have nowhere near the same number of paddling days in Scotland as I do in England and Wales and consequently do not have the range of experience to draw from. I have however very much enjoyed every kayaking trip I’ve had to Scotland and there are a few rivers which I would strongly recommend paddling! As always, please do leave a comment to share your favourite Scottish rivers.